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Update on Fife Axe Case

Criminal proceedings against Leslie man Michael Kelly, who found a neolithic axe head and initially refused to give it up, have been dropped.

Mr Kelly discovered the 6000-year-old axe head late last year while walking in the Lomond Hills. After having it verified by experts, Mr Kelly (45), a former stuntman, was adamant that he would keep hold of his find unless Fife Council paid him thousands of pounds to help fund a movie he wants to produce.

The local authority turned down his request and, as such ancient items belong to the Crown, the procurator fiscal service in Kirkcaldy wrote to inform him he would be prosecuted unless he handed the axe head over. Last month, however, Mr Kelly relented and voluntarily gave the piece to detectives when they called at his home.

Now the procurator fiscal has decided not to press charges against him. A relieved Mr Kelly said, "I am glad it's all over and that I won't have to go to court. I'm also disappointed I had to give up the axe head but I just didn't want any more hassle."

Fife Council archaeologist Douglas Speirs believes the Lomond Hills may possess similar treasures but does not recommend excavating its slopes. He cautioned, "I would strongly advise anyone to resist the temptation of actually digging into the ground to look for new finds."

Tayside and Fife Courier
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
23rd April 2004ce
Edited 23rd April 2004ce

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